Akli, Hamner Reach ITA All-American Round of 16
Cary, N.C. – South Carolina women’s tennis fifth-year senior Ayana Akli and junior Sarah Hamner both advanced to the round of 16 in the singles main draw at the ITA All-American Championships with a pair of straight-set victories at Cary Tennis Park Wednesday morning. It is the third straight season Hamner has advanced to at least the round of 16, including 2021 when she won the title as a freshman.
Ranked No. 7 in the nation and the sixth seed in the event, Akli wasted no time settling into her first match at the tournament, taking down Oklahoma’s Florencia Urrutia 6-2 in the opening set. The Sooners’ senior, who is No. 32 in the nation, pushed back in the second set, stretching Akli to a tiebreak before the Gamecock veteran powered home the 7-6 (2) victory.
Hamner, ranked 25th in the nation, player her way into the main draw after three wins in qualifying earlier this week. Facing No. 62 Maria Aguiar of Boston College on Wednesday morning, the Gamecock junior kept that momentum with a decisive 6-4, 6-3 victory.
The South Carolina duo also qualified for the doubles main draw. The No. 10 tandem in the nation was upset in a third-set tiebreak by SEC rivals Mary Stoiana and Mia Kupres of Texas A&M. The Gamecocks scored a late break to win the first set 7-5 to take an early lead. The Aggies claimed the second set 6-3 to set up the super-tiebreak, which they closed out 10-5.
On Thursday, both Gamecocks will be vying for a spot in the quarterfinals. Akli will hit the courts first, facing another SEC rival in Vanderbilt’s Celia-Belle Mohr, ranked No. 12 in the nation, at 9 a.m. Hamner will square off with No. 10 Amelia Rajecki of NC State at 10:30 a.m. Both matches will be at Cary Tennis Park
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ITA All-American Championship Results
Main Draw Singles Round of 32
(7) Ayana Akli (SC) def. (32) Florencia Urrutia (Okla.) 6-2, 7-6(2)
(25) Sarah Hamner (SC) def. (62) Maria Aguiar (Boston College) 6-4, 6-3
Main Draw Doubles Round of 32
Mary Stoiana/Mia Kupres (TAMU) def. (10) Ayana Akli/Sarah Hamner (SC) 5-7, 6-3, 1-0(5)